Sunday, May 2, 2010

What Is Happening In The Knitting World?

Today all the rave in the knitting world is belonging to knit groups. I go to five knit groups. There are those that crochet, but most people knit that come to the groups. I have really enjoyed the knitting groups that I have attended. I started a knitting group, which is growing and it has been going on for two years. To concentrate fully on my own projects I joined other knit groups. This gives me an opportunity to meet new people, with like minds and enjoy conversations about crafts.

There is talk about going to a knit group instead of a class. They each have their own role they play. Knit groups are great, but a class can take you further into the world of knitting and crochet. Don’t pidgin yourself just in a knit group because there is so much to learn.

I am a knit and crochet teacher and I love to teach. But I also love to learn. That's why I try to go to Stitches East every year so that I can learn the latest and continue to improve my skills. When you take up a class you learn within your level and not just help with a project. There are people who love to help you at a knit group, but they are mainly there to work on their own projects and socialize.

I will continue to encourage class participation. I see the benefits when you are able to concentrate on specific techniques or stitches for a given amount of time. It's a foundation that you continue to build on. Or, you might be that fortunate one that has a close friend or family member that will be there for all your questions and to teach you beyond the basics.

The festival fever has started. Some crafters have already started at the beginning of the year. I was suppose to go to Pittsburgh for the annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, but they had a lot of snow and I don't do snow for driving that distance.

The Down Cellar yarn shop is one of the knitting groups that I joined. They were giving a bus trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on May 1st. I've been twice, but a friend of mine that has never been to one wanted to go, so we signed up.

Well I got up at 3:00am, since I had a little bit of a drive. We ended up leaving late, but we got to the festival safe. We had fun on the bus. Breakfast was served, which was really nice and tasty, prizes were given as each person's name was called. We got a chance to meet fellow crafters and compare notes and experiences. It took a little over 3 hours to arrive. The festival was held at the Howard County Fairgrounds; West Friendship, Maryland. There were a lot of attendees, as the bus inched its way through the traffic to park. That cost another half hour wait.

It was a beautiful start of the day with the weather but then the heat and humidity went up to around 91 degrees. It was hot. We endured the heat because we wanted to enjoy the festival and head back to the bus by 3:45pm.

My favorite part of the festival is to see all of the animals. I love to be able to pet the baby alpaca's and see all of the different kinds of sheep. The different texture, thickness, softness of hair is amazing. To see them before they get sheared and then the after is interesting. Then there are the sheep dogs. They have the demonstration of how the sheep dog rounds up the sheep and directs them into the pen. They are so smart; you can see how much they enjoy working. Of course there are the vendors. Unfortunately, I was on a budget so I didn't buy anything. You could tell how the economy really hurt the vendors. I didn't see a whole lot of people buying but more looking. Even those that took the bus trip didn't buy a lot. That part is sad to see because we need to support the vendors.

All in all it was a good day. I was so tired on the way back that I fell asleep. If you haven’t been to a sheep and wool festival it’s a must do. I am adding the link to the year calendar of around the world Knitting Events in 2010. Check it out. You just might see one that you would like to attend.

Here are some pictures from my trip to the Sheep and Wool Festival and I will add more on future posts.

As I stated in other posts, I always have reading and at least one project with me. But sometimes there is a disconnect and this day was one of them times. I had brought a baby blanket that I wanted to start on. However, I couldn't start it. The concentration of both listening to conversations and trying to count just was not happening. It was too many distractions. Every time I tried to count I got messed up. Then I would try again. I told myself to put it down, but I didn't listen. I tried to do the first two rows and it didn't match the pattern count. That taught me never to try and start something on a bus trip. I need to start it at home and really have a good section done to see if it is something that I could concentrate on in a crowd. Just a tip that I am passing along.

This is the same thing that happens at knit groups. You could bring a project to work on but find out that you just can't concentrate on it in a crowd. I had a backup project. We were making wash cloths that will be stuffed with toiletries for Haiti relief. The yarn and the pattern were provided; all I had to do was bring my knitting needles. So it kept us busy as well as being able to give back to a good cause. I have to finish mine and bring it to the knit group tomorrow.

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